You know how you can tell when something is going to be successful? It’s got a certain energy and drive that tells you that it will work out.
I felt this type of energy at a recent event about fighting climate change. It was Bill McKibben’s ‘Do the Math’ tour on the climate threat posed by fossil fuels. As I sat with the 1,300 other cheering people in the audience, I realized that the intensity I felt filling the theater could be turned into real action.
Several of us from Colby and hundreds of other college students from across Maine were part of the crowd. This talk in Portland last Tuesday was only one stop in part of the nation-wide tour that McKibben and 350.org are making to raise awareness and spark actions across the country.
The message: the amount of oil, coal, and gas that the fossil fuel industry is prepared to burn would release five times more CO2 into the atmosphere than is sustainable.
The goal: to get people to rally behind the idea of turning to clean energy now and keeping those fossil fuels in the ground.
The science behind this information is too convincing to ignore. If we burn all of the fossil fuels that we have at our disposal, our climate will become extremely erratic. The human cost of inaction will be incredible – lives will be lost to storms, famine, and disease that will become prevalent.
This is something that we simply should not stand for. We should fight for a different future. We owe it to ourselves and to the rest of the world to do all in our power to keep our climate from becoming our enemy.
The energy I felt in the audience was an energy fueled by outrage, but also fueled by hope. As the cheering crowd got to their feet to show their commitment to the cause, I couldn’t help but feel like we might be getting somewhere.
Here’s more on climate math by Bill McKibben: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/global-warmings-terrifying-new-math-20120719